Yesterday, we had our first snow of the season, just in time for the month of December. I love to watch snow fall, and watch the world outside turn white an quiet. What I like less is having to go out into the snow and work in it, as is my current job. I bought some extra warm gloves for the occasion.

Snow has this wonderful insulating quality; the house becomes cozier, the people friendlier, and the lights warmer. Snow is intricately connected to the modern holiday season, to Christmas and New Year's eve. Snow and below zero temperatures give us hope for ice skating races, and an instant craving for hot chocolate with whipped cream.

Not many people would relate snow with ancient Hellas, but it did snow there, just as it does in the area today. Sparta, being in the south, would have seen very little snow, but in northern Hellas, it most likely snowed several times a year. It seems that eating snow with honey and fruits was a delicacy around the fifth century B.C., and Hippocrates instructed his patients to consume ice. Mount Olympus, home of the Theoi, located on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, is described as 'snow-topped' by Hómēros in the Illiad:

"And when the lame god had wrought the armour, he took it and set it down in front of Thetis. Then she swooped like a falcon, from snow-topped Olympus, bearing Hephaestus’ gleaming gift."

The ancient Hellens even worshipped a Theia of snow: the lovely Khionê (χιών), daughter of Boréas (Βορέας), the Northern wind, and Ōreithuia (Ὠρείθυια), daughter of King Erechtheus (Ἐρεχθεύς) of Athens and his wife, Praxithea (Πραξιθέα). Khionê is a nymph and her name bears a direct link with the ancient Hellenic word for snow: khiôn.

Last night I offered libations to Khionê and asked her to be kind to me as I depart for work today. To halt her beautiful downpour for the hours I'm out of the house to work, and to protect those traveling through Her manifested beauty. I hope She is kind to me today. Whatever the case, I will enjoy her impact on the world very much this winter.